Named as one of Musical America’s Top 30 Innovators in Classical Music, Josh Shaw is the Artistic Director and CEO of Pacific Opera Project (POP), which has been described as "L.A.'s most exciting new opera company." Over the past nine seasons, Mr. Shaw has directed over 35 productions at POP, including The Rake’s Progress, Ariadne auf Naxos, La Calisto, Tosca: A Moving Production; and La Boheme: AKA “The Hipsters”. A frequent librettist for English updates, his Star Trek inspired Abduction from the Seraglio and Nintendo inspired Magic Flute AKA #SuperFlute have gained national attention and have been produced at multiple companies, shattering attendance records.
Since turning his attention to directing in 2011, Mr. Shaw has directed over 90 productions at companies including POP, Opera Santa Barbara, New Orleans Opera, Opera Orlando, Festival Opera, Gulfshore Opera, Intermountain Opera, Salt Marsh Opera, Opera Neo, and Opera in the Heights. Mr. Shaw's Barber of Seville at Opera Santa Barbara was described as "riotously funny" and "thoroughly amusing from overture to final bow." His work as a director has been described as "Brave and unflinching," "Ingenious," "Relentlessly and adorably rambunctious," "with enough good comic ideas for at least three productions." As a producer, he has been praised for his "supreme savvy" and "high level of production quality" with "the power to enthrall and captivate audiences."
Upcoming projects include a new setting of Die Fledermaus at Gulfshore Opera, a ground-breaking production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta starring “The Blind Soprano” Cristina Jones at POP, and a double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Trial by Jury at Salt Marsh Opera. One of the busiest directors during Covid, Mr. Shaw directed eleven productions during the pandemic including US staged premieres of Gluck’s La Corona and Il Parnaso Confuso, a drive-in Don Pasquale for Opera Santa Barbara, and an updated Cosi – “Covid fan tutte” set in 2020. Other recent projects include productions of Don Giovanni, La Gazzetta (Rossini), La Traviata, Guillaume Tell, The Mikado, and Tabasco: A Burlesque Opera, a newly rediscovered operetta by G. W. Chadwick, last performed in 1894, which was described as "delightful, packed with humor, and a feast for all the senses" by The New Orleans Advocate. In addition to directing the production, Mr. Shaw also wrote a new book and additional lyrics for the project that celebrated the McIlhenney Company’s 150th anniversary.
In addition to the rewrite of Tabasco, Mr. Shaw has written several English version libretti including a Wild West setting of Die Lustige Witwe, a contemporary setting of Die Schauspieldirektor, a production of Die Zauberflöte set in the world of 1990s video games, Covid fan tutte, a Star Trek inspired Abduction from the Seraglio, a 1930s Hollywood Fledermaus, and a groundbreaking production of Madama Butterfly sung in Japanese and English, a co-production of POP and Opera in Heights (Houston).